These Hot Pepper Jelly Rugelach Cookies are a unique twist on this traditional cookie. These light, buttery, flaky, and delicious cookies are easy to make. Whip up the dough in your food processor and freeze until ready to bake!
This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
What is Rugelach? Rugelach is a Jewish pastry that is very popular in Israel. Commonly found in cafes and bakeries, I love grabbing some from my local Jewish bakery and keeping them in the freezer so I can eat them when I have a craving. Growing up, we had rugelach at our Thanksgiving family reunion, but they were filled with raisins and walnuts. Not my favorite flavors for a cookie so I decided to change it up a bit with these Pepper Jelly Rugelach Cookies.
The original dough for Rugelach was made with yeast and sour cream but once the recipe became popular in America, we had to change it, make it easier to make, and of course, have cream cheese in it. I’m not complaining because I love easy recipes, and I really like cream cheese!
If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
If you haven’t checked out my Nutella Mint Rugelach, you should give it a try. Some of my favorite fillings are cherries, apricots, and of course, chocolate. For this version, I went with a sweet and spicy pepper jelly and some toasted pistachios.
Here are some other great rugelach filling options:
- Honey Walnut
- Date Pecan
- Strawberry Jam
- Apricot Preserves
- Pineapple Preserves
- Poppy Seed
- Apple Butter
- Raspberry Almond
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How do you make Rugelach?
Rugelach dough is super easy to make, especially in the food processor. A mixture of flour, butter, and cream cheese, pulsed slowly until the dough resembles a small pea gravel and just starts to hold together.
Once this texture is achieved, a drizzle of vanilla and an egg yolk for added richness and a little color, are added before a few more pulses. Turn the dough out onto a powdered sugar surface and knead a few times to get the dough all together.
The bits of cream cheese and butter in the dough will release their water content and evaporate to make pockets in the dough which gives the rugelach its characteristic light and flaky texture. Much like the layers in puff pastry and croissants.
With all the sweetness going on with the cookies, I wanted the filling to have a little something extra. These Hot Pepper Jelly Rugelach cookies are the perfect blend of sweet and spicy!
Some FAQ about Pepper Jelly Rugelach:
- Q: How long can you keep the Pepper Jelly Rugelach?
A: The unbaked dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for 3 months? Once baked, they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.
- Q: Can you freeze Pepper Jelly Rugelach?
A: Once baked, the cookies can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months if stored in an airtight container separated with parchment or wax paper between the cookies.
- Q: Can you freeze shaped unbaked Rugelach Cookies?
A: Yes, you can! They will keep for 3 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight container or freezer bag, separated by parchment or wax paper.
- Q: How do you pronounce Rugelach?
How do you shape Rugelach?
Traditional rugelach are made in the form of a crescent roll by rolling a triangle of dough around the filling. I prefer a smaller cookie so these Hot Pepper Jelly Rugelach Cookies are more like mini crescent rolls. Think you can’t make crescent rolls? Let me show you an easy trick.
I start by forming the dough into flat, circle discs before I chill the dough. Making it round and as flat as possible makes it easier to roll out and keep the circle shape.
Once you get the disc rolled out to 1/8 inch thickness, spread the hot pepper jelly filling over the entire circle, much like a pizza. If you are using nuts, I would cut the dough and then sprinkle with the nuts. And speaking of pizza, use a pizza cutter for the next step.
With the pizza cutter, cut the dough much like a pizza, into 16 slices. Start by making two slices and cutting the pizza into 4 equal wedges. Then slice each of those wedges in half. This will give you 16 equal sized slices. Having the wedges equal in size makes sure the cookies are all baked evenly.
Start from the wide edge of the slice, roll up the cookie, toward the point. Place the pepper jelly rugelach cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking. Chilling the dough helps the cookie maintain its shape in the oven. I mean, you spent all that time shaping the cookies so they should hold up when baking.
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Easy Hot Pepper Jelly Rugelach Cookie Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese (cold, cubed)
- 2 sticks butter (cold, cubed)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg yolk (beaten)
- Powdered sugar for rolling ( I love Dixie Crystals for this!)
Hot Pepper Jelly filling
- 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/4 cup pistachios (toasted, chopped small)
- Powdered Sugar for garnish
Make the rugelach dough
- Combine the flour and salt in a food processor.
- Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add in the butter and cream cheese.
- Pulse about 10-12 times until the dough looks like small pea gravel.
- Drizzle in the yolk and vanilla.
- Pulse 2 or 3 more times to combine.
- Remove dough to surface lightly dusted with sugar.
- Press into four equal disks being careful not to get the dough too warm.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- You can store the dough in the fridge for a few days before using or in the freezer for a month.
Roll the rugelach
- When ready to make cookies, roll one disk out on a powder-sugared surface to 1/8 inch thickness and in a circle.
- Microwave the hot pepper jelly and water for 30 seconds to loosen it up.
- Add the hot pepper jelly and chopped pistachios to the surface, much like a pizza.
- Cut the circle into wedges making 16.
- Roll each wedge, starting from the wide side, much like a crescent roll.
Bake the cookies
- Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan half-way through.
- Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
- When cool, dust with powdered sugar.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week, if they last that long.
*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars. Thank you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
Welcome to #ChristmasSweetsWeek 2018 hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with food and a fun giveaway? 44 bloggers from around the country have come together to share over 180 sweet Christmas recipes!! Deck the halls and get ready for very merry sweet treats, like fudge, cookies, Christmas morning breakfasts, layer cakes, martinis, cocoa, and more! Our #ChristmasSweetsWeek sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and would love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!
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Other great #ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes to try:
Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate Mix from The Spiffy Cookie
Christmas Flip from Our Good Life
Easy Cranberry Orange Madras from Love and Confections
Glogg from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Grinch Cocoa with Peppermint Marshmallows from Kate’s Recipe Box
Salted Caramel Toffee Martini from Family Around the Table
Sparkling Snowfall Cocktail from Seduction in the Kitchen
Sugar Cookie Martini from The Redhead Baker
Cherry Mash Truffles from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Orange Cheesecake Truffles from Cooking with Carlee
Dark Chocolate Cherry & Peppermint Snowflake Bark from Sweet Beginnings
Grinch Fudge Topped Brownies from Big Bear’s Wife
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Fudge from Lady Behind the Curtain
Red Velvet Fudge from Live Love Texas
Black Forest Tiramisu Parfait from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Chocolate Bundt Cake from Juggling Act Mama
Chocolate Eggnog Cupcakes from The Crumby Kitchen
Christmas Chocolate Chip Sprinkles Butter Cookies from Moore or Less Cooking
Cookie Butter Pudding Cups from The Beard and The Baker
Cranberry Almond Ecstasy Bars from Tip Garden
Date Filled Cookies from Platter Talk
Easy Snickerdoodle Cake from Daily Dish Recipes
Eggnog Blossom Cookies from Blogghetti
Eggnog cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Gingerbread Cheesecake Trifle from My Suburban Kitchen
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Glazed Gingerbread Loaf from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Marbled Star Cookies from Eat Move Make
Mint Chip Cookies from The Mandatory Mooch
No Bake Peppermint Eggnog Pie from Who Needs A Cape?
Peppermint Shortbread from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Pepper Jelly Rugelach from Take Two Tapas
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from April Golightly
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Toffee Thumbprint Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Ugly Sweater Cake from Mildly Meandering
Vanilla Yogurt Mousse with Cinnamon Apples from With Two Spoons
Vegan Hot Chocolate Layer Cake from The Baking Fairy
Winter Wonderland Snack Mix from An Affair from the Heart
Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.
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